Sporty performance with exceptional fuel economy
Volkswagen recently began to take orders on its new hybrid sedan, the new Passat GTE. Offering space, pace and clean and green credentials, the new car have already secured for it a prestigious environmental award even before its formal launch; promising to provide buyers with the best of both worlds.
Being the first Passat with a state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid drive system, the new car offers spirited performance alongside the capability of zero emissions when driving in all-electric mode.
The Passat GTE is available is sedan and wagon body styles with a power-plant that gives a combined power output of 400 Nm of torque and 218 PS. Yet, even with this much power, the Passat GTE only emits 39g of CO2 and has a fuel efficiency rating of 166 mpg (based on EU Combined Cycle). The new car can sprint from zero to 100 kph in a lively 7.6 seconds before heading to a top speed of 224 kph. The potential range between refueling stops is more than 1,056 kilometers.
The Passat GTE is a plug-in hybrid that can be driven up to 50 km. on electric power alone in E-Mode. A 1.4-liter TSI turbocharged petrol engine delivers 156 PS, while the electric motor adds a further 115 PS. Underlining its engaging performance capabilities, the electric motor alone can provide up to 330 Nm of torque from near-standstill.
A specially developed six-speed DSG gearbox is standard on the Passat GTE and features a third, disengagement clutch. This decouples the TSI motor whenever possible, to allow the vehicle to make best use of kinetic energy and hence increases efficiency still further.
Building on the already elegant lines of the new Passat – voted European Car of the Year 2015 – the Passat GTE is distinguished outside by distinctive C-shaped LED daytime running lights and an additional blue line across the radiator grille: design cues which are shared with the award-winning Golf GTE. A redesigned front bumper and 18-inch alloy wheels also mark out the new car.
Inside, in addition to the optional innovative Active Info Display with specific customized read-outs, standard features include blue ambient lighting, a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel with blue decorative stitching, GTE-specific gear knob with blue stitching and seats covered in Alcantara with Vienna leather side bolsters. Unique GTE badging also marks out the new Passat.
The new Passat GTE also boasts Volkswagen’s new Car-Net e-Remote app which allows a wide variety of tasks – including charging – to be controlled via smartphone. All climate control functions can be also activated remotely, while information on the vehicle’s state of charge, recent driving data or last parking position can be displayed. It is also possible to check whether the doors are closed and the lights turned off.
The Passat GTE’s electric motor develops maximum torque of 330 Nm and offers continuous torque of 170 Nm. The 1.4-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine is as sophisticated as the electric motor and drivetrain. This four-valve per cylinder unit from the EA211 engine family uses an ultra-rigid die-cast aluminum crankcase. Maximum power of 156 PS comes at 5,000 rpm, and maximum torque of 250 Nm is on offer between 1,500 rpm and 3,500 rpm.
Under normal circumstances, the Passat GTE starts in pure electric E-Mode. When it reaches minimum battery charge hybrid mode is activated. Here the Passat GTE operates as a full hybrid, charging the battery under deceleration and automatically using the TSI motor and/or electric motor as required. However, should the driver wish to conserve electric power (for example to use E-Mode in a city at the end of a journey), Battery Charge mode can be selected. For maximum power, GTE mode can be chosen: this uses both petrol and electric motors.
The car’s lithium-ion battery is fitted in the floor area of the rear seat bench. Comprising eight modules of 12 cells each, it creates a nominal voltage of 360 V and power of 9.9 kWh, with a peak output of 85 kW. The high-voltage battery is overseen electronically by the Battery Management Controller, which manages various functions including the battery’s liquid cooling system.
In the United Kingdom, charging is achieved either via a standard domestic power outlet in around four hours and 15 minutes; or in two hours 30 minutes from a dedicated power outlet with a 3.6 kW supply.
Despite its extra technology and revised styling, dimensions of the Passat GTE matches those of the standard Passat, including its voluminous trunk, which has a capacity ranging from 402-968 liters for the sedan, and 483-1,613 liters for the wagon version.
Even before the Passat GTE arrived in the Volkswagen showrooms, the new car was already proclaimed a winner in the Large Family Car class in the recent Next Green Car Awards.
According to judges in the Next Green Car Awards, “Volkswagen’s Passat is an excellent large family car that performs well in every area. Add to it the plug-in hybrid powertrain that effortlessly provides drive for all situations and the Passat GTE becomes a dominant model in the large family class.”